A Route Cause Analysis for West Midlands Trains

Experiencing persistent issues with tool calibration, West Midlands Trains sought to rectify these issues, implement corrective measures to prevent future instances and bring them in line with required standards.

They wanted a fresh perspective and expert support, so they engaged Encompass Engineering to perform a comprehensive GEMBA walk to identify potential challenges and opportunities.

Background

The Continuous Improvement team at WMT were experiencing recurring issues related to the calibration of their tools and consistently receiving corrective actions from audits.

WMT were keen to address these issues and bring the calibration processes into compliance with the required standards. They wanted to find out why these issues were occurring and implement corrective measures to prevent future occurrences.

The challenge

Already stretched doing their day to day activities, the team at WMT didn’t have the capacity to do a thorough review of the situation and identify the root cause of the issues being experienced.

Similar projects had been started in the past, but other priorities meant they were never fully completed. They needed to not only identify the issues but also provide a solution that could be implemented at all their maintenance locations to better control the use of calibrated equipment, and resolve the issue going forward.

 

The Brief

Having heard good feedback from other projects they’d carried out within the business, the WMT Continuous Improvement team engaged Encompass Engineering to provide contract services and undertake a thorough review.

They needed skilled specialists who could focus solely on this project, allowing other workstreams to continue in parallel. They needed to not only resolve the current issues but also implement a solution to improve efficiency and avoid issues recurring in the future.

The solution

To gain an in-depth understanding of the situation, the Encompass team conducted a thorough GEMBA walk in these areas, giving us a first-hand view of operations and an opportunity to uncover potential challenges and opportunities.

By visiting the storage area for tools and observing their usage, we collected valuable data to assist in addressing the issues and allow us to propose solutions that could help move operations forward in a more productive way.

We not only observed the storage, utilisation, and management of tools, but we also spoke directly with individuals using the tools to gain deeper insights into the processes.

Our examination included their workflows, storage methods, tracking mechanisms, and overall tool management practices, as well as considering broader factors such as health and safety constraints and the cleanliness of the depot.

Following our review, we compiled a detailed report outlining the key issues and presenting several solutions to address their current challenges. These recommendations included ‘quick wins’ that WMT could implement using the existing resources they had already available to more long-term solutions, such as cultural change management initiatives and solutions that involved investment in additional materials and storage devices.

The result

While the project is ongoing, Encompass has taken the lead in visiting potential solution providers and conducting all the necessary research and fact-finding to deliver WMT with a comprehensive proposal.

Upon completion, the anticipated outcome is a fully costed solution that addresses the tooling and storage requirements essential for WMT. Once agreed upon and implemented, the rollout across multiple facilities can begin, giving WMT a sustainable and standardised solution throughout all their facilities.

Testimonials

Encompass Engineering supplied a skilled engineer who has proven to be a valuable, dedicated resource for this project, as well as for other projects they have successfully undertaken for the business. The engineer brought a wealth of knowledge and fully engaged with our workforce to ensure buy-in and transparent working.

— James Holmes, Business Excellence Manager, West Midlands Trains

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A Route Cause Analysis for West Midlands Trains

Experiencing persistent issues with tool calibration, West Midlands Trains sought to identify the issue, prevent future instances and bring them in line with required standards.

They wanted a fresh perspective and expert support, so they engaged Encompass Engineering to perform a comprehensive GEMBA walk to identify potential challenges and opportunities.

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